AFFIRMATION, Affirmatio, a positive Proposition, alleging the Truth of something. See PROPOSITION, and TRUTH.

Affirmation is defined by the Logicians, an Act whereby we attribute one Idea to another; as supposing it to belong, or agree thereto—As when, conceiving Perfection to agree to the Deity, we say, God is perfect. See ATTRIBUTE.

This, on other occasions, is called Enunciation, Composition, Judging, etc. See ENUNCIATION, COMPOSITION, JUDGMENT, etc.

Affirmation is also used in Grammar, by some late refiners upon that art, for what is usually called a Verb; in regard the office of that part of speech, is to express what we affirm, or attribute to any subject. See VERB. "Affirmation" is particularly used in a legal sense, for that he was to preserve the Effects he thus called him to a solemn form of attesting the Truth; allowed to be used by the Quakers, instead of an Oath, which they hold absolutely unlawful. See QUAKER, and OATH.

This people, by their refusal of all Oaths, lay liable to much trouble; particularly for declining the Oath of Allegiance, in the time of King Charles II. But by an Act passed Anno 1689, it was decreed, that their solemn declaration of allegiance and fidelity, should be accepted instead of an oath. See DECLARATION, and ALLEGIANCE.

In 1695, they also obtained, by a temporary Act, that their solemn affirmation should be accepted in all cases where an oath is by law required; except in criminal cases, upon juries, and in places of profit and trust under the government. In this form:"I, A.B. do declare, in the presence of Almighty God, the witness of the truth of what I say, etc."This act was afterwards continued; and at last made perpetual. But this form not being such as was desired, and having, in reality, all the essentials of an oath; they applied to the parliament for an alteration, which they obtained Anno 1721: When the following form was settled to their general satisfaction, viz.

"I, A.B. do sincerely, solemnly, and truly declare, and affirm."Which is the form now used, in the same manner, and under the same limitation with the former. Any person deposing, upon his solemn affirmation, a known falsehood, incurs the penalty of willful and corrupt perjury. See PERJURY.

"Affirmative", in logic, etc. is understood of a proposition, or the like, which imports an affirmation; or that a thing is. See AFFIRMATION. In this sense, the word stands opposed to Negative. See NEGATIVE. There are universal affirmative propositions; and such, usually are the first of syllogisms. See UNIVERSAL, SYLLOGISM, etc.

In Algebra we have also affirmative or positive quantities. See QUANTITY, and POSITIVE.

Affirmative Sign, or Character. See CHARACTER.

In Grammar, authors distinguish affirmative particles such as "yes". See PARTICLE, ADVERB, etc.

The term is sometimes also used substantively - The Affirmative is the more probable side of the question: There were so many votes or voices for the Affirmative. See VOTE.

"Affirmative" is particularly applied in the Roman Inquisition, to such heretics as own the errors and opinions they are charged withal; and maintain the same in their examination with firmness and resolution. See INQUISITION.

"Afforciamentum", in Law. See ENFORCEMENT.

Afforesting, Afforestation, the turning of ground into forest. See FOREST. In this sense, the word stands opposed to Deforestation. See DEFORESTATION.

The Conqueror, and his successors, continued afforesting the lands of the subject, for many reigns; till the grievance became so notorious, that the people, of all degrees and denominations, were brought to sue for relief; which was at length obtained, and commissions granted to survey and perambulate the forest, and separate all the newly afforested lands; and reconvert them to the uses of their proprietors, under the name and quality of Purloin, or Purloined Land. See further under the article Purloin.

Affray, or Arraignment, in Law, an affright put upon one, or more persons.

This, according to the lawyers, may be done without a word spoken, or a blow struck. As, where a man shows himself armed or brandishes a weapon, it may strike fear into others unarmed.

Affray is a common injury; in which it differs from an assault, which is always a particular injury. See ASSAULT.

Affreightment, or Affreightment, Affretamentum, in Law, signifies the freight of a ship. See FREIGHT.

The word is formed from the French 'Fret', which expresses the same thing.

Affronté, in Heraldry, is understood of animals borne in an escutcheon, as facing, or with their heads turned toward each other. This is otherwise called Confronté. The word is French; and literally signifies the same thing.

Affiliation. See ADOPTION. Among the ancient Gauls, affiliation was a sort of adoption only practiced among the great. It was performed with military ceremonies: The father presented a battle-ax to the person he was to adopt for his son; as an intimation to succeed to, by arms.

African Company. See COMPANY.

Africanus, a quality or surname, given to several persons, in respect of the country of Africa. See TITLE, QUALITY, NAME, SURNAME, etc.

P. Cornelius Scipio had the appellation Africanus bestowed on him, from his taking and demolishing the city of Carthage, and thus ridding the Romans of so formidable an enemy. In some medals we find Scipio's head on one side, with the inscription, P. Scipio Afric; and on the other, Scipio in a cart drawn by horses; with Cart.

Africanus is also the surname of a celebrated historian and chronologist of the 3rd Century, born in Palestine; of whom we have nothing extant beside a few fragments, preserved in Eusebius and Syncellus. His name was Julius Africanus. Authors frequently confuse him with Sextus, or Cestus Africanus.

After-Birth, among midwives, refers to the coat or membranes wherein the fetus is enclosed, in Utero. See FETUS. It is thus called, by reason it comes away some time after the fetus; by way of a second birth, or delivery. See DELIVERY.

Physicians usually call it the Secundines. See SECUNDINE. Also see Heart, etc.

After-Pains, are pains felt in the loins, the groin, etc. after the birth is brought away. See DELIVERY.

They seem to arise from a distention of the ligaments of the uterus during delivery; and are seldom dangerous, unless aggravated by a detention of the Lochia. To prevent them, Oil of sweet Almonds, Spermaceti, Capillus Veneris, etc. are usually prescribed.

After-Math, among husbandmen, refers to the after-grass, or second mowings of grass; or else grass or stubble cut after corn.

Aga, in the language of the Afghans, etc. signifies a powerful man, or a lord and commander. In this last sense, the term is also used among the Turks:Thus, the Aga of the Janissaries, is their colonel; and the Kapi Aga, the captain of the gate of the Seraglio. See JANISSARY, KAPI AGA, etc.

The title Aga is also given by way of courtesy, to several persons of distinction; though not in any office or command to entitle them to it.

On some occasions, in lieu of Aga, we say, Agasi: Thus, the Aga or governor of the pages, is called Kapi Agasi; and the Aga or general of the horse, Sipahi Agasi. See PAGE, SIPAHI, etc. Agio, in matters of commerce, is a term used, chiefly in Holland, and at Venice, for the difference between the value of bank-notes, and current money. See BANK.

The Agio in Holland is sometimes 3, or even 4 per cent in favor of the bank-notes. See DISCOUNT.

Agape, in Church History, refers to Love-Feasts; a name given to certain festivals, celebrated in the ancient Greek Church, to keep up a harmony and concord among its members. See FEAST.

The word is formed from the Greek 'agape', meaning affection or love.

In the primitive days, they were held without scandal, or offence; but in later times, the heathens began to criticize them for impurity. This led to a reformation of these Agapes. The Kiss of Charity, with which the ceremony had ended, was no longer given between different sexes; and it was expressly forbidden to have any beds or couches, for the convenience of those who should be disposed to eat more at their ease.

Despite these precautions, the abuses committed in them became so notorious that they were solemnly condemned at the Council of Carthage. Some critics believe that these Agapes are what St. Paul speaks of, in 1 Cor. Ch. XI, under the name of the Lord's Supper; which, they argue, was not the Eucharist, but a feast accompanying it, held by the Christians of those times, in commemoration of our Saviour’s instituting that sacrament, in his supper with the Apostles. The text seems to intimate, that the feast was held before the Communion; but by an ordinance made later, they were obliged to communicate fasting, so that the Agapes were postponed until the Sacrament was over.

Some authors imagined this ceremony to have been, not a commemoration of our Saviour, but a custom borrowed from the heathens: "Ales vero ille, ut refert," says Sedulius on the XIth Chapter of the Epistle to the Corinthians, "de Gentili adhuc superstitione veniebat." And Faustus the Manichee is represented in St. Augustine, as reproaching the Christians, with converting the Heathen sacrifices into Agapes: "Christianos sacrificia Paganorum convertisse in Agapas."